Yesterday the New York Times noted how the organizational philosophy of the Independent League Newark Bears was to provide a place for former big leaguers to play as they try to work their way back to The Show. Indeed, just this season the Bears have been home to Armando Benitez, Carl Everett, Shawn Chacon, Jacque Jones, Marlon Anderson and Keith Foulke.
It seems that this philosophy extends to their front office too:
Dwight “Doc” Gooden is back in baseball at the independent minor league level.
The Newark Bears say the former Cy Young award winner, who pitched for the New York Yankees and New York Mets, will be hired as senior vice president of the Atlantic League franchise on Thursday.
Team spokesman Jesse Suskin says Gooden will serve as the Bears’ community ambassador in Newark, New Jersey’s largest city. The 44-year-old Gooden will work with youth baseball camps and leagues.
This is not merely some charity or publicity-driven job, as Gooden has worked in youth baseball in Tampa for the past several years. Moreover, if you’re going to cultivate interest and excitement about your team and your programs in the New York/NJ area, it would be hard to find a better guy to do it than Doc Gooden. For all of his foibles, people simply love the guy in New York.
On a more basic level, it’s good to finally hear news stories about Gooden that don’t involve trouble with the law or with substance abuse or what have you. I hope this job works for him and I hope it keeps him in and around baseball for a long time.
The Giants have acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the Braves in exchange for cash considerations, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Eduardo Nunez injured his hamstring on Sunday, leaving the Giants with another hole to fill at third base. Beckham isn’t eligible for inclusion on the Giants’ postseason roster.
Beckham, 30, hit .217/.300/.354 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 273 plate appearances with the Braves. He spent most of his time at second base but also spent some time at third base and shortstop. Beckham has nearly 1,500 career innings at third base, so moving back to the hot corner shouldn’t be a big deal.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson addressed the media about the status of starter Steven Matz on Tuesday afternoon. Alderson said that Matz will undergo “imminent” elbow surgery to address a bone spur in the lefty’s elbow, Marc Carig of Newsday reports. That will end Matz’s season.
Matz was expected to return this past Friday, but was scratched due to shoulder soreness. According to Carig, the shoulder doesn’t appear to be a major issue.
Matz, 25, finishes the season with a 9-8 record, a 3.40 ERA, and a 129/31 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings. It was a pretty good showing for his first full season in the majors.
The Mets enter Tuesday’s action a half-game up on the Giants for the first of two National League Wild Card slots. If the Mets can secure one of those slots and then advance to the NLDS, they will likely use a rotation that includes Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman.